Psar Chas, the oldest market of Phnom Penh, was almost totally gutted by a fire this morning of November 24th.
UPDATE: aftermath photographs added…
Like last Sunday, family members, activists, monks, sympathisers and observers gathered yet again at Prey Sar prison in support of 17 activists and monks who were arrested two weeks ago and were promptly condemned to 1 year imprisonment. Attendance was bigger than last time. Balloons were released, prayers said, authorities cursed, tears flowed (CNRP member Morm Rady from Lowell, Mass. shed a few as well), statements made. Those in jail stayed where they were.
Journalists shouldn’t be in the spotlight. It’s not their function. But there are exceptions. Like when one of them fills a big void and writes a well written and well documented book giving a comprehensive overview of post 1979 Cambodia. You’ll never get closer to untangling the strings of power.
It’s in Sebastan Strangio’s book ‘Hun Sen’s Cambodia’.
If you missed the launch at Meta House, the book is available in the better bookstores near you… And highly recommended…
Some 150 to 200 citizens, buddhist monks, activists and observers, headed by Venerables Luon Sovath and Sim Sovandy, went on the Grand Embassy Tour to garner foreign support for those who were arrested last week and swiftly condemned to 1 year in jail, as well as requesting an official foreign presence at Venerable Luon Sovath’s trial which is due this November 25th. The buddhist monk, also known as the ‘media monk’, is a staunch land rights activist but finds himself accused of being a member of a terrorist organisation.
About 200 workers from Yakjin garment factory showed up knocking on pots and pans in front of the National Assembly to protest temporary layoffs because of a slowdown in orders from customers. The factory was the scene of a violent repression by the Special Command Unit 911 during a strike back in last January which resulted in several arrests (see HERE). Those who were sentenced to jail were supposed to have a hearing at the Appeals Court today but it was postponed.
Moments later some 50 villagers who were evicted from Preah Vihear province managed to sneak out of Wat Samaky Reangsey where they are hosted since several weeks, and also reached the National Assembly to deliver a petition.
Rectification: the workers were from the Jian Le factory claiming they are still owed money from the time when the factory operated under a different name. Sorry for the mistake…
Some 200 people, ordinary citizens, buddhist monks, activists and relatives gathered at the gates of Prey Sar prison in solidarity with -and to plead for the liberation of- those who were arrested and sentenced to 1 year in prison with an unusual speed in the past week for rather questionable reasons, ranging from obstructing traffic with a bed during a land issue demonstration, or carrying flag poles for another planned land issue protest.
Despite the obstacles laid out by the authorities at the exit of Wat Samaky Reangsey and Boeung Kak lake, some 800 people showed up at the National assembly to protest a wave of arrests among the activist monks and the land rights activists.
Edited at 12:50… That’ll be 200 demonstrators instead of 800. 800 were announced but many couldn’t show up.
The community which was evicted from Choam Ksan district in Preah Vihear and who is hosted by the buddhist monks at Wat Samaky Reangsey since nearly two months were denied a march towards the National Assembly by police forces this morning.
Two monks who wanted to join them yesterday were arrested for transporting poles with flags.